My Favorite Healthy Restaurants in Los Angeles

February 24, 2014 · 9 comments

Last week, I was in Los Angeles for two nights shooting a video for an upcoming campaign, featuring my favorite tips to stop the unhealthy habit that is binge snacking! 

 I love visiting LA because I get to see old friends, my family and eat the best healthy food that exists in America – in my opinion. I got to try two new restaurants during my visit that quickly rose to the top of my favorite healthy restaurants to go to. Scroll to the bottom to see a list of all my favorite healthy restaurants in Los Angeles and Southern California. 

My flight landed around lunch time and instead of having crappy airport food, I waited until I could get into West Hollywood where I was staying for the night. A quick Yelp search for places near my hotel revealed Lemonade. I had never heard of it before but with over 200 positive reviews, I was excited to try it. To say this place is a “Sarah Fit” approved restaurant is an understatement. It’s highly recommended! 

This is a quick cafeteria like restaurant with no seating inside. You walk inside and along the counter behind glass you see 15 different seasonal salads like Asian Pear and Arugula or Lentils with Wild Rice and  Zatar. I did not see a menu so I just pointed to what I wanted, tasting samples. You can order 1, 2, 3, 4 or more sides to make a meal or just a snack. I got 3 sides that was $7.50, including the roasted yellow beet salad with sage balsamic, pomegranate seeds, cilantro and chives,  ahi tuna salad with watermelon radish and black sesame ginger sauce and a seasonal butternut squash with grapes, Brussels sprouts and almonds. They do have sandwiches and a Land or Sea menu but the sides are where the fun is at. 

Since this place is called Lemonade, it’s obvious what their drink options included. I had a the unsweetened seasonal lemonade which was pomegranate. I loved the tartness. They also had giant french macarons. I got the salted caramel for dessert but I of course put it in my bag and ate it before taking a picture. It was awesome. This place is great for a quick lunch if you are by yourself or with a friend with plenty of seating outdoors. They have many locations and the menu is vegan friendly but also great for meat eaters.

About an hour later, I felt digested and ready for a long run to Runyon Canyon. Seriously. I ate the whole thing, plus my macaron and was good to go. I only wanted to run for 30 minutes but found myself running up to the top for a 5 mile run/hike.

After a few meetings and shopping on Robertson, Kitson is not for me I finally realized but Splendid was, I met up with one of my best friends from High School at Cafe Gratitude. I’ve been waiting to try this place forever! Cafe Gratitude is a vegan restaurant that has a cult like following in LA with a couple locations. It is a sit down restaurant but they have a bar if you are visiting for work by yourself. I sat there while waiting for Kristen and had a delicious house kombucha. 

We ordered the bruschetta to start which was made with cashew ricotta and served on raw buckwheat crackers. It’s called the I Am Present appetizer.

 

For my meal, I got the I AM WHOLE. The cute guy sitting next to me at the bar recommended it and it tasted similar to a Life Alive bowl – but way better… I added avocado. It was just $16 and came with sea veggies, kale, steamed quinoa, house-made kim chee, carrots and sprouts with tahini-garlic sauce and teriyaki almonds.

 

We of course had to get dessert. Kristen is not a vegan but is very lactose intolerant so this is one of the few places she can order dessert! We got the coconut cream pie after seeing how good it looked on our neighbor’s table. 

 

Yes, this was a two dessert kind of day but I left the restaurant feeling comfortably full and fell right asleep when I got home so I could wake up early for a quick workout before my shoot. 

This is a great sit down restaurant for anyone that loves veggie-centric meals. Even if your travel companion is not a vegan, I am confident they will love their meal as well. They also have wine, beer and cocktails. 

Other places in LA that I love and have featured on here include:

Real Food Daily - Vegetarian sit down with two locations, West Hollywood and Santa Monica. Try the sea cake!!

True Foods Kitchen - Sit down lunch or dinner, great for vegetarians, meat eaters and healthy folks. Multiple locations on west coast.

Mendocino Farms - Order at counter and sit down place, multiple locations, vegetarian friendly.

Hugo’s - Sit down place in West Hollywood and Sherman Oaks area. Great brunch!

Green Leaf Chop Shop  –  Four locations in LA and in Orange County! Awesome salads.

Tender Greens Another great lunch spot for a salad on the go by yourself or with a buddy. Beware, many meals are not low in calories but nutrition facts are available online.

Did I miss your favorite LA spot? 

 

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ashley @ The Broccoli Blog February 24, 2014 at 11:42 am

I live right by the Sherman Oaks Hugos and they just but in a Mendocino farms nearby, it’s the best!

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2 Kristina February 24, 2014 at 11:55 am

Next time you are in LA, try out Thyme Cafe on Ocean Park Blvd in Santa Monica. Great farm to table food with a lot of selection. Some of my favorites are the Turkey Meatloaf sandwich and the cold Salmon salad over mixed green with heirloom tomatoes and hari co vert (I’m 100% positive I spelled that wrong!), plus they have great desserts!

I love Greenleaf, Mendocino, and True food Kitchen also. So many great places to choose from in LA!

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3 Gillian February 24, 2014 at 11:57 am

Sage in Echo Park & Culver City is outstanding and Gracias Madre is a new vegan Mexican place in WeHo that may not be the *healthiest* but vegan Mexican is certainly novel (and their margaritas are terrific if you’re into that sort of thing).

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4 Marielle February 24, 2014 at 3:56 pm

I love this list, I’m new to LA so I’m always looking for restaurants to try!

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5 Christen February 24, 2014 at 4:19 pm

Wow, great recommendations! I’m making my first ever trip to LA (Marina Del Rey) next month and will definitely try out the Venice Beach location of Lemonade!

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6 Hayley Lytle February 24, 2014 at 7:25 pm

You pretty much named all my favorites. I am glad you got to try Cafe Gratitude and Lemonade! Real Food Daily is one of my favorites! OH Urth Caffe is a must too!

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7 Julie February 25, 2014 at 3:02 am

Urth Caffe and Huckleberry, which isn’t healthy really, but so good!

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8 Jen @ impossible jen February 25, 2014 at 7:15 pm

i work walking distance from lemonade in la, it’s super addictive. not terribly healthy but the mac n cheese is hella good!

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9 Divya @ Eat. Teach. Blog. February 26, 2014 at 6:43 pm

Ahhhh, you are making me homesick for LA. These were all my go-to restaurants!

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